Since the first attempt at harnessing ocean wave energy in 1799, well over a thousand different wave energy converters (WECs) have been invented and tested. However, comparative studies of WECs are scarce, though some have attempted to evaluate the relative potential of different WECs using parameters such as capture width ratio and mean annual power. Such metrics provide an insightful perspective of the hydrodynamic performances of different devices. However, the cost of wave energy remains high—a challenge that restricts WECs from becoming an economically sustainable source of renewable energy. Here we provide a novel comparison of different WECs that involves both device performance as well as relative cost. We propose a new dimensionless metric that pairs capture width with surface area and accounts for the relative cost via a first moment of area computation of a device’s performance across a range of wave periods. A collective database of many WECs with their new metric scores is provided along with a primary discussion of the feasibility of this metric. The database provides a new form of comparison for WECs which more directly considers the relative cost-effectiveness of different devices than previously used metrics. The study is ongoing, but we anticipate our database to be a starting point for further analysis of the economic sustainability of WECs. Such studies will help identify which classes of WECs are most economically viable.